Importance of Niigata from urban planning point of view
Niigata city is a traditional port town which prospered by sea and river transportation. Now, it has a population of
800,000 people. The extremely rational grid pattern street system in this city was built in 1655. And a temple district
where about 20 temples are lined up also formed in the same period. Both are still remaining. At the end of Edo
period, this city was one of the earliest opened port in Japan, along with Hakodate, Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagasaki.
The old custom house is famous for gi-yofu (quasi-western-style) architecture. The Bandai Bridge was constructed
with reinforced concrete in early Syowa period. They are designated as national important cultural properties. Niigata
city was little damaged by WWⅡ, which is rare in the same scale cities excluding Kyoto, Kanazawa and Sapporo.
Therefore, in the center of this city, there are over 1000 historic buildings, for example, “Machiya”
(traditional merchants' house), “Ryotei” (high class Japanese traditional restaurant), and western-style buildings and
so on.In the suburb, some extremely wealthy landowner’s mansion are dotted among the beautiful country side.
Additionally, citizens’ activities for urban issues are energetic. Also in other areas in the prefecture, there are many
good research field such as castle town, post town and Cultural landscape.